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July Wrap-Up

It’s officially July, and that marks the halfway point of 2017. Can you believe it? As you will see, July meant that I threw my TBR out of the window, almost completely, which is going to leave me catching up in August. But, on the bright side, I did clear my currently reading shelf!

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, read by Rosamund Pike 🌟🌟🌟🌟

28095737This is the second time reading Pride and Prejudice, and I have to admit that I enjoyed it far more the second time. I know I don’t have to give you a little plot summary because, well… It’s Pride and Prejudice. What stood out for me, this time, was the banter between Darcy and Elizabeth, which probably isn’t very surprising. Also, and I might be completely alone int his, but I really likes Mr Collins, who is probably one of the most comical characters. Already, I want to read it again!

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, narrated by a whole cast of people 🌟🌟🌟🌟

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May Wrap-Up

May. The best month of 2017, because I read certain book this month. I think you’ll be able to figure out what that book was. Of course, I did read more than the one book, and this is what I read:

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Solitaire by Alice Osman 🌟🌟

20618110.jpgWhat is this book? Is it a mystery? Is it a love story? Is it a mental health novel? Who knows, certainly not me. As you can tell, this was not one of my favourites.

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April Wrap-Up

I feel like all I do in my intros is say how busy this month has been, but, yes April meant the deadline for my dissertation and the start of my exams. Of course I still powered through some books, and here is what I managed to read this month:

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The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicles #1) by Patrick Rothfuss 🌟🌟🌟🌟

2913377Annoyingly I finished this the day after my March Wrap-Up went up, so this is still technically a March book, even though it’s here in my April Wrap-Up. Anyway, I really enjoyed this book, and I went into this a bit sceptical after The Lies of Locke Lamora last year, but it really impressed me. Part of a trilogy this book chronicles the first part Kvothe’s life as he tells the story to a Chronicler who has come to his tavern. This is a fantasy book, in case you haven’t guessed, and Rothfuss did an excellent job with the world building. I that department it really reminded me of Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy. Also that characters were excellent, even the minor ones seemed to be fleshed out, reminding me a lot of A Song of Ice and Fire. Even though I am making a fair few comparisons to other high fantasy masterpieces The Name of the Wind definitely stands proud on its own two feet as an example of fantastic high fantasy, with Rothfuss’ spellbinding world of magic, monsters and myth.

De Profundis by Oscar Wilde 🌟🌟🌟🌟

11060845De Profundis, a 50,000 word letter that Wilde wrote while in prison for homosexuality, was really great. I didn’t realise that the edition I have, the free kindle one because I’m a cheapskate, is not the full text but the edited version that was published at the beginning of the 20th century, but I still really enjoyed it. Wilde explores so many themes from art to the soul, and touches upon so many different sources. It was a little Bible-heavy but that was only a slight issue because my edition is not annotated so quite a few of these referenced went over my head. But on the whole there were so many observations that really resonated with me, and I would love to read a full, annotated edition in the future.

Inside the Magic: The Making of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Ian Nathan 🌟🌟🌟

32998368I was pleasantly surprised by this non-fiction book about the making of the awesome film, and intriguing addition to the Harry Potter universe. I’m nor really a non-fiction person, and I’m not a huge fan of behind-the-scences kind of stuff but this book was super interesting. However I do think that it would have been even better if it hadn’t been spoiler free, because it could’ve gone into so much more depth. But I do understand why this would make it harder to market. Still, I did really enjoy this unique take on a film I adore.

A Court of Mist and Fury (ACoTaR #2) by Sarah J. Maas 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

28477453This is the third time I’ve read this book, and looking back at the first words of my review were ‘I legit have no words right now‘. Let’s just say, not much has changed because I am still speechless. My love for this book is just… If you liked ACoTaR, even if you hated it, please just give this one a go because if perfection is to be found in book form then here it is. Sarah takes the myth of Hades and Persephone and twists it into her own beautiful little thing. Seriously this book has it all, darkness and light, laughter and heartbreak, the Night Court and the Spring Court. Full of magic, desperation, and love, which can be a poison just as much as a balm. At this rate Book 3 will probably kill me. R.I.P Victoria.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry, Planet by Becky Chambers 🌟🌟🌟🌟

24956528As someone who very rarely reads sci-fi, even though i do enjoy it on the TV, this was a great novel for me. This is an adult sci-fi novel, focused on the crew of a tunnelling ship, The Wayfarer, whose job is to create wormholes for others to travel from one point to the other. Despite that I feel like the focus of this novel is on the inter-species  crew’s journey from one job to another. It was definitely what you would call episodic, but once I can to that realisation, I did really enjoy it. Stay tuned for a full review, probably spoiler filled, coming soon, but if you’re a fan of Firefly or Star Trek (But especially Firefly) then this is the book for you.

The Julius House (Aurora Teagarden #4) by Charlaine Harris 🌟🌟🌟🌟

21292152Ah, now this book reminded me why I love this series so much, especially after the ‘meh’ last book. In this episode Aurora finds herself the new owner of the Julius House, where a number of years ago the family who lived there disappeared without a trace, and were never seen again. I did actually see the TV adaptation before reading but I felt like the focus of this book was not necessarily the mystery, but Aurora’s marriage. Surprisingly I loved that Harris did that because it made the mystery solving portion flow much smoother. I also really like the introduction of Angel, a new character, and hope to see more of the Youngbloods.

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) by Cassie Clare, read by Morena Baccarin 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

25813915I just cannot read this book without smiling (and squeezing, and sighing) and that’s probably because I am a Shadowhunter pro, so even though this is my personal favourite, I would not recommend it as your first shadowhunter books. Anyway, this follows Emma as she investigated the mysterious death of her parents a number of years ago. I’m not going to go on about it because I do have a spoiler free review if you want to know more about plot and characters (spoiler, I love them both), but I will say that Lady Midnight is probably the best first book of Cassie’s, and if the rest of the trilogy is this song, then it might just give The Infernal Devices a run for it’s money.

Star Wars; The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster 🌟🌟🌟🌟

25387202.jpgConfession time: This is the first Star Wars film that I watched. Scandalous I know. But I absolutely adored every second of it, and the book is… maybe even better, or at the very least just as good. I always find it hard to rate books like this when I’ve already see the film, because, especially in this case, the special effects are just beautiful. I’m not going to summarise the plot, because frankly I don’t know where to begin, but I will say that it’s a very different to the other sci-fi book I read this month. TFA is incredibly action based with a plot that is constantly moving, but if you’ve seen the film, which I’m sure you have, you already know this. There are , however, some extra little character moment, and lines of dialogue that really fresh out the characters even more than the film does, which is why TFA eared that extra star.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller 🌟🌟🌟

12501590This historical-fiction novel set in classical Greece was a bit disappointing for me. I likes the concept, the exploration of a romantic relationship between Achilles and Patroclus alongside everything else that is, I guess, Achilles’ life story. Admittedly my prior knowledge was very lacking, not that you need any, since the book does do a pretty decent job in that department. However, for me there was a definite problem with a jumpy timeline, and a very slow beginning. I was also not the biggest fan of Patroclus, even though I was totally there for the ship. Ultimately it felt like this was the first novel of someone with a degree in classics and I was right. It’s not a bad book, by any means, but it just wasn’t for me.

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And those were the books that I read in the month of April, clearly my intended TBR kind of went out of the window. My favourite, for the third time reading, is ACoMaF and probably will be for the rest of my mortal life. I’m also currently reading Hero of Ages, which I didn’t want to carry back on the train because it is huge, but hopefully I’ll finish it next month.

What did you read this month? Have you read any of these books, and if so, what did you think?

Thanks for reading!

Victoria

Posted in Books, Wrap-Up

March Wrap-Up

It’s time to say goodbye to the month of March, and to my final proper term at university. Crazy! I had a pretty good reading month, and seemed to absolutely fly though these books, managing to read 10 books in total.

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Broken Dolls (Jefferson Winter #1) by James Carol 🌟🌟🌟🌟

18216648I used to read a fair few thrillers when I was younger and, having not read one for a while, I definitely forgot how scary they can be.

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February Wrap-Up

Can you believe February is over?! I almost thought I’d got my dates mixed up, I know it is a shorter month but this seems ridiculous, especially considering the size of my TBR, but shoot for the stars, am I right?

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Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard 🌟🌟🌟🌟

22328546This is the third time I read this book, but every time it just gets better and better. Red Queen is the first book in a YA fantasy trilogy set in a world where people are segregated into two groups. The ruling class, the silver bloods, have special abilities, while the working class, the red bloods, are just regular people. However, our red blood protagonist Mare finds herself trying to survive in the silver court when she awakes a latent power. As I always mention, this has one of the best plot twists and even though I’m pretty familiar with it now it still gets to me ever time I read it. Another thing that’s really interesting in Red Queen, and something that I forgot, is that Mare is a very flawed protagonist. I won’t say much more but I will probably have a series review up sometime in the future.

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January Wrap-Up

How’s 2017 so far? Well, we may only be a month in, but so far 2017 is looking fantastic! I managed to read a ton, and get my GoodReads reading challenge off to a flying stars.Here are the books that I finished in January 2017.

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Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

25494343.jpgI have read A LOT of Cassie Clare the past few years, but I have to say that this one might just be my favourite. Set in the shadowhunter universe, an urban fantasy setting where there are a race of part human-part angel warriors who rid the world of demons, but this time in LA, we are introduced to a new set of characters, though some familiar faces to make appearances. In theory our protagonist is Emma Carstairs, an Shadowhunter orphan who is hell bent on finding out who murdered her parents. Without a doubt Emma is my favourite female character in the Shadowhunter world, and I can be very picky when it comes to female protagonists. However, this has a much wider scope than any of Clare’s previous Shadowhunter books, with so many main character, but not too many, each fleshed out with their own storylines. When you compare this book, to Clare’s first in the Shadowhunter world, City of Bones, which was pretty good, you can really see just how much this author has grown, and for me that is so exciting. As the first book in a trilogy (the sequel is out in a few months) there is so much potential for this series to grow even more than this original novel, and can see this surpassing The Infernal Devices as my favourite of Cassie’s Shadowhunter Series’. As you can see I have plenty to say and you can see a full review right HERE.

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December Wrap-Up

Can you believe 2016 is over? It gone so quickly! Well, without further adieu, here is my final wrap up of the year. As is the usual pattern for December, the fist half of the month was super productive and then I just got a bit lazy.

Shadow and Bone (Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo 🌟🌟🌟🌟 [4 stars]

22819449This was the first book I finished this month, and just like the first time I read it, it only took me a couple of days. This is a super quick read, really great for anyone who perhaps is new, or a little uncertain about YA fantasy or just fantasy in general. It shouldn’t come as a surprise by now that Leigh Bardugo is a queen in my eyes, since I seem to mention her in every post. This one is the first in a trilogy that follows Alina Starkov as she discovers that she is in fact Grisha, one of the magical elite. I’ve already mentioned how quick this is to read because it’s an addictive story,  and I loved it just as much as the first time. It should come as no surprise that I gave it [4 stars]. The only reason it didn’t quite reach five is simply that I can tell there is better to come, so I’m saving that star for the future.

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November Wrap Up

Ah, so the month on Novemeber had draw to an end and we can breathe a sigh of relief as we delve into the greatest month of the year. Considering how much I had to do this month, I’m pretty chuffed with how much reading I did get through.

25716704The first book I finished in the month of November was a lovely ARC of A Torch Against The Night by Sabba Tahir, courtesy of the lovely people at Harper Collins and Goodreads. This is the second book in a YA fantasy series and I absolutely loved it, giving it a very easy 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟[5 stars]. The story developed really nicely from the first book in the series, and I needed up enjoying it even more than I did it’s predecessor. I have full review here, if your interested in some more in-depth and SPOILER FREE thoughts.

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Next, on my kindle I read a mystery/thriller called Night Film by Marisha Pessel which also got an instant 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟[5 stars]. This follows a reporter as he investigates the mysterious suicide of the daughter of a reclusive horror director. It also incorporates a lot of mixed media, so photos, web pages and supposedly an app that will give you even more information, Unfortunately, I’m not sure if this was a failure on my part or because I’m from the UK I couldn’t find this app, which is a real shame. However, you don’t need that extra content to be able to follow the story and I absolutely devoured this book that was balanced on the perfect knife edge between horror and thriller. I’m thinking of doing a full review, partly so I can read it again and partly because I keep thinking about it.

25262299After that things went downhill briefly with the epic-fantasy Prince of Fools by Mark Lawerence. I have also written a full review for this, even though it only got 🌟🌟[2 stars] and I really didn’t enjoy t vey much at all. There were a lot of propels with certain characters and by the end just the writing style in general and I’m sorry to say that it is not a series that I will be continuing with. If you want to know more about my feelings you can read my full SPOILER FREE review here.

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My next book was a super quick read at it was the graphic novel Bucky Barnes; The Winter Soldier Vol. 1: The Man on the Wall by Ales Kot and a whole load of illustrators. This was actually a collection of comics, issues 1-5, in this story line, which is not something that I’m aware of reading before. I really enjoyed the story, even though I have no background knowledge, and thought it had Marvel written all over it. However, I struggled with the illustration. I am not an art expert, I’m not even well versed in graphic novel art, but it was so obvious when the illustrators changed over, to go from these stunning full colour, almost acrylic paintings to line drawings on the next, during the same comic, was just really disappointing. It’s such a shame because this was well on the way to a 5 star rating if only the illustrations had been consistent, so I ended up giving it 🌟🌟🌟 [3 stars].

30030950Also, another quick one was the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Screenplay by J.K Rowling. I loved the film and ended up buying this hours after I came out of the cinema and I wasn’t disappointed. I relished the chance to visit the film, almost like a close analysis of the whole thing, where there were bits and pieces, certain lines, that in my excitement, I missed the first time around. Needless, to say I couldn’t find any reason not to give it 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟[5 stars].

23403402Next I read a YA urban fantasy by an author I only start reading this year but is right up there amongst my all time favourites, and that is A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E Schwab. After reading both Vicious and This Savage Song this year, I thought that there was no way this could be as good as those two, but I was so wrong. A Darker Shade of Magic revolves around the concept that there are found different Londons, parallel universes if you will, Grey London, Red London, White London and Black London, or as Lila puts it, Boring London, Kell’s London, Scary London and Dead London. We primarily follow Kell, an Antari, one of the very few who have the ability to travel between them. I loved everything about this book, from the characters to the setting, to the magic system, and was really surprised by a lot of plot points, twists and turns. Luckily I have the second ready to go, because I gave this book 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟[5 stars].

For one of my university modules I had to read Mrs Warren’s Profession  a play by George Bernard Shaw, which I did quite enjoy and ended up giving 🌟🌟🌟🌟[4 stars]. I don’t really have anything to say, it’s just that I’m counting it toward my reading goal.

And that’s all folks. I ended up reading 7 books which I’m pretty impressed with considering all the other things I also got done. It’s pretty obvious what my least favourite book was, and I’ve even got a full review to explain why, and I think my favourite was  A Darker Shade of Magic.

What was your favourite book you read this month? Do you have a least favourite of the month?

Thanks for reading!